Impoverished and needy in Carmel Valley

By Eugene Helsel

Carmel Valley

I guess I was feeling a bit too smug and took living in Carmel Valley for granted. But why not? Carmel Valley is a very attractive suburban residential neighborhood providing a highly desirable quality of life. With convenient access to north-south and east-west transportation corridors, great schools, and a variety of shopping and dining experiences, what’s not to like? Vons and Ralphs provide me with the essentials and if I get bored, Sprouts is not that far away and Whole Foods is coming soon to Flower Hill.

It is pretty easy to find an ample number of restaurants within or adjacent to our area that can satisfy a variety of needs and tastes: Sammy’s Woodfired, Il Fornaio, Jake’s, Taste of Thai, The Market and the list goes on. Currently, two new restaurants are under construction in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. With all this why am I suddenly feeling impoverished and needy? I hear voices, two in particular, and read advertisements that tell me I need a “place to shop,” a “place to live,” a “place to gather,” a “place to embrace” and, worst of all, that we residents are “lacking a heart.” How could I have felt so good about where I live? Am I really as bad off as I am being led to believe? To the rescue! Kilroy Realty has come up with a solution meant to satisfy these illusory needs, it is a delusive project called One Paseo. Forget that there will be close to 2,000,000 (that’s 2 million) square feet of development creating a scale and density seen only in compact urban areas; that is nine times the density of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center; Kilroy’s current entitlement is 500,000 square feet.

The retail alone will occupy 270,000 square feet amidst eight- and 10-story buildings and large residential blocks. This is equal to the total amount of retail in the entire Del Mar Highlands Town Center. How about four and a half times more traffic and two new traffic lights on Del Mar Heights Road? Just what we need to complete our community: more traffic and congestion, more noise and diminished air quality. This monstrous development, as planned, will destroy the current coveted community character of Carmel Valley. More is not always better, especially for this community. For the facts and real life comparisons that reveal just how bad One Paseo would be rather than the PR fantasy promulgated by Kilroy, visit

  1. All residents need to become informed and involved.